Bude to Boscastle 16.75 miles
A rough and beautiful stretch of coastline with some of the most spectacular walking yet. More arduous up and down traversals of rocky inlets but unlike the day before, there were no preconceived pictures in our heads to haunt and distract us. There was just good walking!
The increase in awareness that always seems to kick in for me after about 10 days out, either into the wilds or on a long walk, is part of what I like to call wildcrafting. It kicks in because the days have become in part more simple, but more importantly I believe because one is experiencing a far different connection to Nature. Most think of wildcrafting as gathering simples from the land, as herbalists and other crafts people do, but here I am referring to the gathering of wisdom from the land. One must slowly work their way into a relationship to the land that isn’t possessive or filled with expectations. It tends to be born out of a continuous wish to look and listen, and holding a conversation of sorts. There’s a two way looking if you will; me looking out with my senses at the land and a quieter part, or deeper, part of myself watching me back. A looking at myself watching, without comment; just taking in whats being registered, both ways, and paying attention to it all.
It’s a subtle art to practice, but that’s what I call wildcrafting.
Getting to know a place over time is possible when doing a longwalk, but spending years in a place is always best. Capitalizing upon any chance meetings with long time locals is likewise a sure bet for gathering wisdom and lore, and its all a far better way of getting to know this stretch of Cornwall beyond watching Poldark!